Construction professionals at work

The MLB is rounding up its All Star Week in Kansas City, and I’m a bit of a baseball fan.  I attended a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field recently (photo above), and that got me thinking a lot of about the similarities between baseball and mechanics lien strategies and policies.  Yes, really.

There are 162 games in a baseball season, and players may get upwards of 500 at-bats each year. Each team will record at least 4,374 outs before the post-season, and pitch more than 14,000 pitches. These teams play almost every single day. Another pitch, another swing, another out, another win or loss…

What could this possibly have to do with mechanics liens?  The answer is discipline.

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Discipline separates the winning teams from the losing teams every year. Even the worst team in baseball is going to win 60 games.  Even the best team in baseball is going to lose 60 games.  The difference between good and bad teams is what they do with those remaining 40 games, and that’s where the discipline comes it.

In the mechanics lien context, the same thing is required for companies to use the lien laws to protect their receivables and avoid bad debt.

A few years ago I wrote a blog post titled “Filing A Lien Is A Discipline, and Not A Knee-Jerk Reaction.”  Too often, companies only think about the mechanics lien or bond claim process when they are owed money and its time to put out a fire. Filing a lien is more than firing off a form document when facing a non-paying project, however. You must get the lien filed in time, you must have the necessary information on hand, and most importantly, you must have sent your required preliminary notices or notices of intent to lien.

Like any good baseball team, if you want your accounting department to have the powerful lien laws on its side, you need a disciplined department where the intracies of lien compliance permeates through all of your procedures.  In other words, you need a Lien Policy.


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